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01-18-2013, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
the flipside is, at the WHL level, maybe he should have been more of a difference maker.

what happened to their GAA when he arrived and when he left?
I'm not going to pretend to know the first thing about the Calgary Stampeders or Winnipeg Warriors, so this is a purely hockedb-based analysis.

Rollins was with the Stampeders for only the 1957-58 season.

PlayoffsFirst Rd.FinalsFinals

The year Rollins was brought in, the Stamps defense lost player/coach Lee Fogolin, who had been playing his only minor-league season. Rollins replaced Hank Bassen in goal.

The following season, Rollins left and was replaced by a young Roy Edwards. The defense was almost entirely replaced (one dman survived the purge) and a couple of high-scoring career WHL'ers were brought in to boost the offense.

Rollins played in Winnipeg for two years, the 1959 and 1960 seasons. By 1960 he was 33 which was a normal retirement age for a goalie of that time. He never played a full schedule in Winnipeg (see below)

PlayoffsFirst Rd.Second RdOutOut

To be clear about the lack of 1960 playoffs, the WHL changed to a 4-team bracket that season. The Warriors folded after 1961. I would guess that the steady decline in GF is an indicator that they weren't acquiring talented players, which implies a lack of money was the cause for the team's struggles.

Prior to Rollins' arrival, the starter was Ray Mikulan, a career minor-league. The cornerstone of the defense was Kent Douglas, and the offense was led by a geriatric Bill Mosienko (!) and Earl Ingarfield.

Rollins played only 31 of 64 games in his first year, besting Mikluan's GAA, 3.19 to 3.85 and posting a record of 17-14-0. Mikulan was 14-17-2. Rollins got all 7 playoff starts. Ingarfield had graduated to the NHL, Douglas retired, and the defensive corps was blown up and replaced.

The second season, Rollins played 55 games to Mikulan's 11. Rollins went to New York for his brief comeback at the end of the season, so I presume Mikluan's games came at the end of the schedule? Individual goalie data is not available, unfortunately. Mosienko had finally been put out to pasture by this time, and the four-man defensive group included a 19-year-old Ted Green, 20-year-old Gary Bergman and 21-year-old Don Johns.

After Rollins left Winnipeg, he was ironically replaced by an aging Harry Lumley and a very young Ernie Wakely. Goaltending data is not available, but their overall GAA wasn't really impacted by the change. Their goals-for plummeted, so one could infer that the goalies may have been harder-pressed to keep the GAA down. Ted Green was still there, and a post-NHL Nick Mickoski led the offense, but the rest of the roster was pretty horrible.

Analysis and hasty conclusions

Rollins was not a "difference maker" in the sense of producing a clear and unmistakable change in fortune for these teams. We know his play in Calgary was praised in the media, which leads me to believe that the loss of Fogolin and the reconstruction of their defense left Rollins to the mercy of opposing offenses; and apparently he had a good enough playoffs to get his team into the Finals. Calgary was a team composed of veteran minor-leaguers, so one would imagine that they were built primarily to win at the WHL level rather than for promotion and development.

All indications suggest that Winnipeg was just a poor place to get stuck playing. Their rosters were strangely composed, with a mixture of past-prime NHLers and guys who were barely old enough to buy a drink. Rollins' GAA numbers are far enough ahead of former-starter Mikulan's to suggest that Rollins belonged at a higher level. The fact that the Rangers eventually gave him a tryout seems to confirm that theory, but I'm not sure it would be possible to really get a sense of his performance without digging through newspapers.

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